Booster dose: Siemens Healthineers lends a hand to health-tech startups

Published: June 17, 2020 2:10 AM

The pact between Nasscom’s Centre of Excellence for IoT & AI and the German medical technology company will accelerate innovations in healthcare.

Gerd Hoefner, MD and president, Siemens HealthineersGerd Hoefner, MD and president, Siemens Healthineers

By Srinath Srinivasan

A global crisis at this level has led to downturns, however, it has also led to business disruptions and transformations which have opened a plethora of opportunities to tenacious entrepreneurs. The Indian startups have continued to prove their resilience by developing solutions that would help society cope with the pandemic on a daily basis,” said Debjani Ghosh, president, Nasscom. Recently, the IT industry forum entered into a partnership with Siemens Healthineers for supporting innovation in healthcare and accelerating health-tech startups in India.

As per the collaboration that was signed virtually via video conferencing, Siemens Healthineers and Nasscom’s Centre of Excellence for IoT & AI (CoE-IoT & AI) will work with the Indian startup ecosystem. This comes amid the global Covid-19 induced lockdown which has created a huge demand for telemedicine, health-tech and online educational services.

The startups will not be grouped in cohorts. “We follow a rolling model and we will be continuously looking for innovative startups that align with our strategic focus areas with an emphasis on quality rather than quantity. So, there is no limit on number of startups,” said Gerd Hoefner, MD and president, Siemens Healthineers. “We are looking for early to late stage startups who have an existing product /solution /service offering, have done sufficient validations on the problem-solution fit, have some customer traction, and are looking to scale up operations,” he added.

The programme will facilitate collaboration between business lines of Siemens Healthineers and the startups through proof-of-concept or co-creation projects with a potential to result in joint development, commercial partnership, or supplier engagement. Siemens Healthineers will support the startups in further validating their solutions, providing domain expertise, and enabling access to technology building blocks. The projects are funded by Siemens Healthineers and have active involvement from respective business stakeholders and internal experts to guide the startups. In fiscal year 2019, Siemens Healthineers invested over €1.3 billion, which is about 9% of its revenues, for R&D activities. In September last year, it also set up a new manufacturing facility co-located with its R&D centre at Bengaluru. The company made a `20 crore investment in the facility on top of its already existing `2,500 crore investment in India.

The startups will be working on many real-world use cases during the programme— in the areas of cardiology, oncology, neurology, image analysis and therapy guidance including radiomics, clinical data integration, decision support and value-added services, hospital workflow optimisation solutions and patient care management solutions across the continuum of care. Siemens Healthineers has been inventing cutting-edge technologies in the areas of imaging, diagnostics and digital health leveraging AI, Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), and robotics and this will benefit the startups.

With this programme Siemens Healthineers will also be an advisory committee member for Nasscom CoE’s Lifesciences and Healthcare Innovation Forum (LHIF), to provide guidance in driving the innovation agenda in healthcare industry.

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